In the primary
election on Tuesday, May 4, Republican candidates Gail D. Hudson and Jon M.
Snyder will vie for the nomination for Porter County Assessor. The
Chesterton Tribune invited both to respond to candidate questionnaires.
set word limits for each question and reserved the right to edit for length.
(1) Age, place
of residence, and occupation.
Valparaiso, Porter County Deputy Assessor.
Portage, State Certified Appraiser, IN & IL
(2) Describe the
Porter County Assessorís responsibilities and explain why you are seeking
the office. (100 words)
duty of the County Assessor is to identify, list, and calculate the assessed
value of real and personal property within the county in a timely manner.
The Assessor processes appeals, determines which properties are tax-exempt,
takes filings for and calculates inheritance tax, and verifies sales
disclosure information. I am seeking office because I work with the concerns
and issues of the taxpayers every day and know what changes need to be made.
I will strive to prevent errors in the assessment process that can lead to
inaccurate tax bills and appeals.
main responsibilities of the Assessor are: to execute countywide
equalization in order to assure uniform and equitable assessments for
property owners, oversee the General Reassessment process, serve as member
/secretary of PTABOA, calculate the total assessed value of each taxing
district and transmit this information to the auditor, choose assessment
software, review and oversee the reporting of personal property. I am
seeking this office because I feel that current county government has failed
the people of Porter County and that new leadership is needed to properly
assess each taxable unit during troubling economic times.
(3) Are you
qualified and certified to serve as Porter County Assessor? (100 words)
Hudson: I am
qualified to fulfill the duties of County Assessor more than someone from
the private sector who has no experience in that office. I have worked in
the Assessor's Office as a Deputy Assessor since 2001. I received my Level
II Assessor's Certification in 2008, and am currently enrolled to take
classes for my Level III Certification. As a Deputy Assessor I am familiar
with all aspects of the County Assessor's duties and the software system.
have been a Certified State Appraiser for over 12 years. I have appraised
millions of dollars in Porter County without any question as to the
integrity and accuracy of my reports. I have taken several hundred hours of
classes in regards the appraisal process and methods. I have been a small
business owner in Porter County for over 10 years. I hold a level 2
Appraiser-Assessor certification required by the state to be a candidate for
(4) What are the
main issues in the race? (100 words)
main issues are accurate assessments and the delays in the current appeal
process. Taxpayers need to know that as your Assessor, I will be working on
your behalf to ensure assessments are correct. The current appeal process
can be addressed by holding additional hearings to accommodate the
taxpayer's time and needs until the backlog is dealt with.
believe that Porter County government has not been responsible with dollars
that have been entrusted to it by taxpayers in our county. There is no
excuse for Porter County to be in the bottom five counties in our state to
have assessments completed on time. This has caused a delay in tax bills
being sent on time for three of the last four years. Also the appeals
process is confusing and lengthy. The Internet could be a great tool to
assist tax payers in the appeals process. Appeals should not take over a
year to complete.
(5) How would
you avoid mistakes or delays in applying Indianaís assessment laws? (50
Mistakes can be prevented by working with the software vendor to correct
errors as they are discovered and ensuring the most up to date information
is entered for annual trending. Delays can be avoided by working with the
Auditor and Treasurer to meet Data Compliance deadlines established by the
my experience as an appraiser I can identify mistakes quickly and correct
them. I work with deadlines every day and this experience has prepared me to
meet the demands of completing assessments timely. This will be a priority
and I will demand excellence from myself and from my staff.
(6) Is there
local flexibility in the assessment process or is it a wholly
state-regulated function? (50 words)
assessment process and other functions of the Assessor's Office are
regulated by state statutes and guidelines. The Assessor has some local
flexibility to work with the taxpayer to correct errors in their assessment
in order to avoid an appeal.
Assessments are becoming more and more a state-regulated function. However,
I believe that there is local flexibility. For example, the Assessor is
allowed to get assistance for mass appraisal functions and difficult
properties such as a steel mill. I would utilize local competent
professionals to assist in these tasks.
(7) Do you
expect to ask the Porter County Council for additional funds or employees to
fulfill your responsibilities? (50 words)
have no plans to ask for additional funds or personnel to fulfill my
responsibilities as County Assessor. There is ample staff to handle the
workload. It should be every county office holderís goal to avoid
unnecessary spending in order to use taxpayer money efficiently and keep tax
believe in smaller, more limited government so I would not like to ask for
additional funds. One of my goals would be to examine the budget and see
what wasteful spending could be eliminated to save money.